An international dining itinerary

George C. MarshallDid you know Leesburg was home to one of the most influential Americans of the 20th century? During his long, illustrious career he was a five-star general, general in chief of the Army, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense. He authored a program known informally as the “Marshall Plan” to revitalize Europe after World War II, considered by many to be the most successful foreign aid program of the 20th century. He was the first professional soldier to win the Nobel Peace Prize. His home in Leesburg, Dodona Manor, is the only one he ever owned, and is preserved as National Historic Landmark. His name is George C. Marshall.

Today, you can take a tour of the countries that benefited the most from the Marshall Plan, by experiencing their cuisine. Our Marshall “Dining” Plan invites you to discover five of the international flavors found in Loudoun.

  • For Great Britain, try Hunter’s Head Tavern in Upperville. This historic 1750s tavern would fit nicely on the moors of England (look for the signature British red phone booth in front). The traditional pub fare is sourced by their nearby Ayrshire Farm, which provides locally produced, humanely raised meats and organic produce. Try the Guinness beef stew or the bangers and mash.
  • Head to France with a visit to the French Hound in Middleburg. With a chef trained in French kitchens, the French Hound offers a menu that features many French bistro standards, including steak frites, a grilled flat-iron steak served with crisp fries. Click here to visit their website for some swingy French accordion music.
  • Say “Ciao” to Galletta’s in Leesburg for a taste of Italy. This small establishment on Loudoun Street offers fine meats, cheeses, Italian wines, and authentic oils.  Best of all, they make their own fresh pasta right in the shop every day. Stop by Thursdays for their special meatball sandwich, with Nonni’s meatballs topped with Marinara sauce and freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese.
  • Look for the Mighty Midget Kitchen, a polished, stainless steel roadside diner across from Market Station in Leesburg to find Döner Bistro. Okay, so their Döner is a Turkish-German version of a popular Greek Gyro, but they also offer traditional German fare like Bratwurst and Schnitzel. Plus, they’ve got great beer, including the Weihenstephaner Wheat Beer, from the oldest brewery in the world, founded in 1040 A.D. Check out this cartoon for the story behind Döner Bistro.
  • Lastly, since it is St. Patrick’s Day, we had to include a trip to the Emerald Isle. Ireland is represented here by O’Faolain’s Restaurant & Pub in Sterling. Founded by two Irishmen, this protypical Irish establishment features traditional fare and great live music every Friday and Saturday. Come see why the Washington Post named it among the “Best Irish Pubs” in the DC area.

To learn more about George C. Marshall, plan a visit Dodona Manor. It is open Saturdays from 10am to 5pm and Sundays from 1 to 5pm. Or, watch our video below.

Got your favorites for European cuisine in Loudoun? Let us know in the comments section below.